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2016 Instructors

Sangoma Oludoye

Ceremonial Hostess and Midwife for this festival calls to the Kindred to 

 - Prayers in the Earth in the Ceremony of Inipi (sweat lodge)

 - Maiden, Mothers, Crones & Spirits to the Moon Lodge for the Ceremony of Masks that transform us deeper into authenticity & healing Roundtable

 - Vision Lodge for Village Brisdge-builders that seal and bless the festival "take-aways", tool kits and next steps for participants

 - Most of All, Grandmother Sangoma welcomes all to come unify and make whole the ceremony in our every days...

Winter is coming.

Steven Snow Bear Taylor

Founder & principal instructor of Yonah Earthskills, co-founder of Earthskills Rendezvous, Inc.

Steven Snow Bear Taylor has been an environmental educator and practitioner and teacher of primitive living skills for 40 years. From pre-schoolers to Elder Hostel participants, many have joined him on interpretive naturalist walks and for living history programs and music and storytelling performances. He is recognized for his study and work in identifying and cataloguing the indigenous uses of edible, medicinal and utilitarian wild plants of the Southern Appalachians and knowledge of North American tribal peoples. Among his mentors have been elders of the Cherokee, Seminole, Creek and Lakota nations. He has been a woodcarver and woodworker for 25 years and enjoys foraging for wild foods and medicines, animal husbandry, beekeeping, horseback riding, whitewater canoeing, gourd and bamboo craft (especially making indigenous rhythm instruments), making fire by friction, primitive fiber arts, tracking skills, and ancient ways of open fire cookery.

      A student of West African drumming, he was taught by the Yoruba master Babatunde Olatunji. He continues to teach this music to children and adults. He is a founding member and lead percussionist with the Grammy-nominated musical ensemble Sapien, playing whole world music at schools, festivals and museums throughout the southeast. He was a founding member of the performance group Sapien Dreamtime that entertained students while teaching the music, dance and stories of indigenous cultures from around the world. Snow Bear has brought his music and skills to the Maya of the Yucatan and the N’debe and Zulu people of South Africa as well as youth on the islands of St. Croix and St. Lucia. He is an outdoor educator who has shared his skills with young and old alike at many camps, schools and museums for over three decades. He has worked with a variety of special populations, including youth at risk, adjudicated youth, mental health referrals and young men in drug rehabilitation programs.

       Snow Bear is founder and principal instructor of Yonah Earthskills. Thirty years ago, he co-founded Earthskills Rendezvous, Inc. which provides educational events in ancestral living skills for people of all ages. He continues to host, instruct and serves on the Board of Directors for these events. He was a senior counselor for Georgia Mental Health Institute’s Outdoor Therapeutic Program for 8 years. He has also been director and instructor of The Peaceful Warrior Walkabout of EARTH Camps, Inc., (a 14 day primitive living skills intensive for high school students), program director of Pepperland Farm Camp for 17 years and served on the EARTH Camp Board of Directors.

Snowbear will be offering roundtable teachings of Co-Creating Healthy Elder Culture & Yoruban Drum Songs at 4 Tribes 4 Peace.

Elspeth Odbert

Grandmother Elspeth is a living example of everything she teaches, so it is important to share sacred space with her in order to understand her teachings. Her workshops reflect her primary concerns: healing as a multi-dimensional spiritual path, the under-recognized value of older women in society, and Earth Stewardship-the integral relationship between humans and other beings.

Bill Record

aka Medicine Bear

Elder at Art Of Mentoring. Tom Brown's Tracking School, Jon Young courses, Workshops with various elders including Jake Swamp. Teaching and leading ceremony at a teen camp for 12 + years. Supporting the community that has grown around Carl Big Heart\'s teachings. Starting an off the grid community in Nevada based on the Peace Principles.

Joan Candalino

Joan teaches tipi living skills, skills for sustainable living, and a range of earthskills crafts. She made her first tipis under the tutelage of Darry Wood in the 1990's. She and husband, Tom Strode, are building homestead and community in Hardyville, KY.

Jonathan Santos

Welcome to Johnathan Santos Music. Santos, as he is referred to by many, grew up between the US, Japan, China and other Asian destination. Based in Asheville since 20, he currently has residencies at Middle schools, high schools and community centers empowering students to sharpen their critical thinking, creative writing and self expression through Lyriics to Life: Poetry Rhyme and Song series.

Santos is also a Difi Instructor and lifelong beginner of Tai Chi Qi Gung.


Both Johnathan Santos and Ruff Mic are offering interactive roundatables for our youth and teens on Friday Afternoon.

Grandmother JoAnn

Grandmother JoAnn has many psychic talents, but her greatest personal gift is helping others to find their own innate talent and be true to their higher self’s calling. She has traveled the world and provides readings and guidance to those who are drawn to her. Through her efforts to create peace, her friendliness, compassion, enthusiasm, and knowledge, she incorporates her extensive training with her intuition and insight into personal and collective symbolism to bring a depth to the reading that enhances your conscious awareness leading to personal growth.

JoAnn connects with your angels and guides to deliver a reading that spiritually directs you along your specific path. The consultations will focus on your Life Lessons, the different Paths ahead of you, and the Energy that surrounds you. With this knowledge, she is dedicated to liberating you from negative thoughts, behavioral patterns, and energies so you can see yourself in a whole new way and move past the blockages that create obstacles to manifesting the life you want.

Grandmother JoAnn will be offering a Numerology workshop for beginners as well as personal readings/spiritual guidance at 4 Tribes 4 Peace.

Ruff Mic

Ruff Mic of Precise Science is a longtime producer, emcee and student of ancient sciences. He is also a youth sports coach and is involved with a few other youth organizations around Tubman City, Baltimore. He has been a member of Precise Science for over a decade and has toured with Professor Griff, Public Enemy and the X clan. Mentored by Baba Umar of the Last poets.

Ashleigh Ruckert

Ashleigh has been practicing massage therapy since 1981.  She creatively combines intuitive and technical skills in her bodywork to help her client’s access their innate body wisdom, leaving them feeling more rejuvenated and relaxed. She intuitively employs a variety of techniques specific to the needs of the client.  Her focus is on bringing the client to a place of deep peace and relaxation so that their body is
able to heal itself.

Bill Parravano

Bill is “The Knee Pain Guru” and “The Best in the World at Eliminating Knee Pain without Drugs, Shots or Surgery.”

He has over 25 years of martial art and body work experience understanding movement and tensions patterns that lead to physical pain.

Bill believes the nervous system holds the key to the body’s healing. It bridges the gap between what we currently know and the infinite number of possibilities for the body to heal in the realm of what we don’t know. This combination creates the shortest distance between a life riddled with pain to a high quality fully expressed physical life.

Eliza Laubach

Like the prairie grass where she hails from, Eliza Laubach has roots that are digging deep into the Appalachians after transplanting herself two and a half years ago. She carries an unrelenting curiosity in the natural world and a deep honor for water bodies, which has led her to a path of working with the native medicinal plants of Appalachia and building strong relations to the ecoregion. 

Weaving this green path with a strong green fire, she is activated by voicing justice for the land, air, water and people of where she resides. She focuses on communicating to communities in North Carolina about energy efficiency and climate change empowerment with environmental nonprofit Appalachian Voices and also writes for their newsmagazine, The Appalachian Voice. She continues that resiliency work at 4 Tribes 4 Peace by facilitating inter-generational conversations around climate justice.

Daniel Foor

A teacher and practitioner of practical animism who specializes in ancestral and family healing and in helping humans relate well with the rest of the natural world. His work sources from his devotion to the Earth, and draws inspiration from indigenous wisdom and his older ancestors by encouraging accountability and active tending with our other-than-human kin.

For the last two decades, he's trained with teachers of Mahayana Buddhism, Islamic Sufism, and diverse indigenous paths, including the traditions of his my Northern European ancestors. Daniel is also a student of Yoruba culture and an initiate (omo awo) of Ifa, Orisa, and Egungun in the lineage of Oluwo Falolu Adesanya of Ode Remo, Nigeria.

Frank Salzano

Of Firefly and Earthskills Fame

Frank Salzano grew up in the hill country of the Allegheny Plateau of southern West Virginia.  While in college in Shepherdstown, WV he was elected to local government and became the youngest city councilman in the history of West Virginia. 

Since then he has spent his life extensively practicing and studying temperate climate permaculture and agroforestry. He is particularly interested in nut and fruit bearing tree crops, perennial plant propagation, and ethnobotany for the homestead. He has created a small-scale germplasm with a significant amount of diversity of chestnuts, hazelnuts and pawpaws. 

He is the Class Schedule Coordinator for the Firefly EarthSkills Gathering & the Florida EarthSkills Gathering. He lives at Wild Abundance Eco-Homesteading School. 

He also loves sedimentary geology, mythology, astrology and playing with children. He has a Leo moon, and his Gemini Sun is conjunct his Mercury... 

Sunshine Hampton

Sunshine Hampton is a mom of three boys, a pediatric nurse, and a certified permaculture designer. She lives on a ½ acre urban lot, which she is transforming into a self sustaining homestead. Her focus is on stacking functions, growing perennials, raising chickens, composting, and managing a greenhouse and aquaponics system. She is a Certified Permaculture Designer, a Co-Creator of The Free Garden Community Project and serves on the Board of Directors at Fair Share-Grow Hope Farm as well as an avid urban gardener.

Leopard LightningSoft

A great way to wake up!

"8 Precious Pieces" is an effective, short,  set of standing movements based in the Chinese Qigong Energy Medicine tradition.  It is accessible to people of most physical abilities, shared in a supportive hands-off way which allows everyone to discover it for themselves. The set is easily learned and can be "taken home"after a couple of sessions. We will also learn a simple breathing technique that grounds energy into the body, healing sounds and visualization that connects us to the natural ways of Qi. 


Leopard has been practicing and sharing the Precious Pieces for twelve years and recently completed the Medical Qigong Therapist certification at the "Five Virtues Qigong" school in Nashville, TN. He also offers one-on-one Five Element Energy Bodywork which supports the deep healing physical and emotions into wholeness and balance.

Lady Dawn Raven

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